New Evaporator Controller from Danfoss Supports Industrial Refrigeration Applications

December 18, 2020 by Robin Mitchell

Danfoss announced its latest evaporator controller, the EKE 400 that supports various industrial refrigeration and defrost cycles.

What is an Evaporator Controller?

Refrigeration systems take advantage of a gas's expansion and compression to remove heat from one system and displace it into another. A gas is compressed into a fluid, which causes it to heat up. This hot fluid is then cooled down using a radiator, and then the fluid expands back into a gas.

During this expansion, the pressure drop causes the gas to drop in temperature significantly. This cool gas is pumped through the area, which requires cooling. This gas is then pumped back into the compressor, where the cycle continues.  

The purpose of an evaporator controller is to control the evaporation section of a refrigeration system. A typical industrial evaporator controller provides the conditions needed for specific applications, such as careful control of defrost cycles.

The controller also maximizes performance and energy saving. These components control valves, compressors, motors, and other equipment associated with the refrigeration system.


Danfoss' New EKE 400

The evaporator controller is designed for industrial refrigeration systems. The EKE400 serves as a dedicator controller that manages complete operation in both cooling and defrost modes. The controller can operate valves and fans, optimize sequences, support various defrost methods, and support a range of different refrigerants, including CO2 and ammonia. 



Two variations of the EKE400 are available. One variation has an HMI, and one does not. The HMI variation includes six buttons for navigating through various menu options and a backlit LCD for viewing multiple parameters. This controller functions on its own and also with a PLC via the use of Modbus. The EKE400 also supports CAN bus for managing internal communication between various EKE 400 controllers, allowing for developing a distributed control system (DCS).

The EKE 400 aims to be flexible and supports a wide range of input voltage ranges from 85V to 265V AC 50 and 60Hz. The controller covers both 24VAC and 24VDC. 

The EKE 400 also integrates analog inputs to support both PT-1000 NTC temperature sensors and 4-20mA/1-5V pressure transmitters. Eight digital outputs provide external control signals, while two of these outputs provide PWM via solid-state circuitry.

The unit also supports both metric and imperial units, making it applicable in most markets worldwide and supports a range of languages, including English, Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish.

The evaporator controller also comes with a unique setup wizard. This wizard allows for quick setup of critical parameters and variables and filters out irrelevant parameters.  


The EKE 400 evaporator controller. Image courtesy of Danfoss


Kurt M. Sand, EKE 400 Product Manager at Danfoss, said, "Our new evaporator controller dedicated for industrial refrigeration and heavy commercial with its straightforward installation, intuitive wizard and built-in design flexibility will provide our customers with the tools to achieve the optimal cooling mode and defrost sequence for efficient, safe, and trouble-free evaporator operation. Combined with our free CoolConfig software we have a strong evaporator control package for our customers."


Controller Supports Defrost and Refrigeration Cycles

The EKE 400 supports various defrost and refrigeration cycles. These include variable time lengths for each stage of the cycle with hot gas defrost by pressure control, liquid drain, water/brine defrost, and electrical defrost. This means that the EKE 400 applies to most industrial refrigeration applications, including food storage, vaccine transport, environmental controls, and chemical storage. 

Danfoss claims the EKE 400 provides up to 50% cost savings in installation and complies with IIAR safety recommendations for hot gas defrost.

To read more about the EKE 400, you can look into details on the dimension, installation schematics, specifications, and much more.